Police jail six jeepney drivers who protested in Caloocan

The 6 jeepney drivers arrested after protesting in Caloocan to urge the government to lift the ban of jeeps would remain in jail until they post bail, police said Thursday.

Police arrested the drivers on Thursday after they refused to relocate their protest, which caused heavy traffic in EDSA, Caloocan police chief Col. Dario Menor.

“Maayos naman po iyong panawagan namin. Makikita naman po doon sa na kuha nila na sila po ay resisting pa rin so talagang nag-insist sila na doon sila,” he said in an interview with TeleRadyo.

(We asked them peacefully. You can see in the that they are resisting, and they insisted on being there.)

He said drivers underwent inquest Wednesday on disobedience to authority, leaving their home without permission and violating physical distancing.

Menor said the court would decide on the drivers’ custody and that they would remain inside the jail until they post bail. 

“Masakit man po iyan ang talagang naging kapalaran nga po kaya nga kami’y nananawagan na huwag daanin sa ganiyang pamamaraan,” he said.

(Though it hurts, that’s really their fate. So we appeal not to use protest in expressing sentiments.)

“Hindi naman nagkukulang ang gobyerno sa kanila sa Caloocan, binibigyan naman po talaga ng ayuda ang mga iyan,” he added.

(The government of Caloocan did not neglect them, they gave them aid.)

Also read: Traditional jeepney phaseout continues amid crisis

Jailed jeepney drivers in Caloocan did not receive cash aid from government

According to Steve Ranjo, secretary-general of the National Association of Drivers and Operators Nationwide (PISTON), the protesters did not receive financial aid from the social and labor department.

He also said the six drivers went with the police because they thought they could talk to Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan when they were taken to the municipality.

The drivers had no attorneys when they were arrested, said one of arrested Ruben Baylon.

National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre Olalia said the law prohibits any law enforcer from inviting and questioning an individual without a lawyer as it could be considered as an investigation.

NUPL has sent an attorney to represent Baylon’s group, Olalia said.